KL Aseel opened their MBL season with an impressive 92-70 victory over Sunrise Youngsters despite playing without their World Import.
Kittitep Dasom continued his fine form, scoring Sunrise Youngster’s first seven points to keep the game close for most of the first quarter before KL Aseel’s guard excellent shooting form stretched the lead to 12 at the end of the quarter through Jun Manzo and Jai Reyes’s combined 12 points.
Just like the first quarter, it was a lot like dejavu for the Sunrise Youngsters as the Filipino duo of Manzo and Reyes closed out the quarter on an offensive onslaught, combining 11 points to ensure KL Aseel maintained their 12-point lead at the half.
The 35-year-old Jai Reyes showed no signs of slowing down as the Filbasket founder turned back the clock, dropping another 10 points to help KL Aseel balloon the lead to 22 by the end of the third as Sunrise Youngsters fatigue began to catch up with them.
KL Aseel kept firm control of the game in the final quarter and faced little resistance as they cruised to the final 92-70 win.
Jai Reyes was the Player Of The Game, scoring 23 points on 58% shooting in his first competitive game since 2020. KL Aseel also saw strong showings from Jun Manzo (18 points), Tan Wei Long (12 points & 14 rebounds), Chua Wai Kin (13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists) and Lee Jing Hung (10 points & 8 rebounds).
It was a tough game for Sunrise Youngsters as they were outrebounded 40-55 and just couldn’t get their offence going. Their best performer was Jean-Luc Morel with 20 markers.
Johor Southern Tigers were behind their opponents for only less than a minute of the entire game and masterfully took the 89-74 win over Singapore Adroit in the first Southern Derby.
Adroit had a sluggish start and were unable to contain the stellar Lee Joon Kang who dropped 10 points to give Johor a six-point first-quarter lead.
Johor’s quick hands and intense defense rained down a tough second quarter for Adroit as turnovers dogged them.
A highlight reel putback dunk by Charles Garcia kept the lead to single digits at the 4:07 mark, but it was the Tigers with the stronger finish this quarter as Tevin Glass found his scoring touch, dropping six markers to push the lead to 16 at the break.
Johor kept up their fine offence in the third with a trio of threes making it a 20-point lead at the 5:38 mark.
Keeping their cool, explosive scorer Wong Zhong Han and Charles Garcia closed the quarter with 13 combined points to trim the lead to eight going into the final period.
Adroit made it a nervous game for Johor by cutting the lead to only four at the 8:37 mark.
Tevin Glass however, was quick to shatter the Adroit’s hopes of a comeback with six points including a thunderous putback dunk to restore his team’s double-digit lead with six minutes remaining.
Adroit could not muster enough for the rest of the game, allowing Johor to pull away to eventually finish with a comfortable 89-74 win.
The Player Of The Game was none other than Tevin Glass who finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds. The 203 cm American forward’s 11 fourth-quarter points proved crucial in seeing off Singapore Adroit’s fightback.
Johor also had outstanding contributions from Lee Joon Kang (15 points & 6 assists), Lim Chee Wei (14 points, 5 assists and 5 steals) and ‘Kevin’ Apisittinan Dasom (12 points, 6 rebounds & 4 assists)
Adroit’s best performers were Charles Garcia and Wong Zhong Han who had 24 and 21 points respectively. The Singaporean’s 26 points allowed off 23 turnovers proved costly today.